MARIPOSA COUNTY, Calif. - A 77-page report from the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office shed new light and details on the tragic deaths of a family and their dog that died from heat and dehydration while hiking last summer.
The investigative report details a string of missteps that led to the deaths last August while the family hiked along a trail close to the Merced River in the Sierra National Forest.
The mysterious deaths of John Gerrish, 45, his wife, Ellen Chung, 31, their 1-year-old daughter, Miju, and their dog had puzzled investigators.
The report said the couple underestimated the dangers of the hike in the Sierra Foothills. The trail is said to be avoided by locals during the summer.
The report said the bodies of Gerrish, the child and the dog were found together on a steep part of the trail, while Chung was about 13-feet higher in elevation.
It was reported in October that the family did not have enough water and died as a result of hyperthermia. Extremely hot temperatures, rigorous terrain and a lack of shade were all cited as contributing factors.